Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World, British Museum, Follwed By Dinner At Salt Yard With Anthea & Mitchell, 27 May 2011

Janie and I went to this fabulous exhibition early evening on a Friday – this notion of late opening of museums and galleries on a Friday evening was quite new then…

…or at least new to us.

Here is a link to the British Museum’s press page on the exhibition.

Here is a very informative short promotional vid for the exhibition:

Here is a search term link to reviews and other resources on the exhibition.

We had arranged to meet Anthea and Mitchell at Salt Yard later that evening. A couple of months earlier I had enjoyed a superb meal at Salt Yard with John Boy:

Dinner At Salt Yard With John White, 16 March 2011

I recall Mitchell being there when we arrived at Salt Yard and then Anthea arriving last, in a bit of a “sorry I’m late” flap…very much in character.

But the excellent food and wine soon had everyone in a chilled and good mood at the end of the week. For me and Janie, with the fascinating cultural exhibition before the gathering too, it was a super start to the weekend.

Come, Been and Gone, aka I Like My Job, Michael Clark Company, Barbican, 4 June 2010

Dance is not really my thing. Watching dance isn’t really Janie’s thing.

But Anthea and Mitchell were keen to go to this and were raving about it being original and different.

I’m sure it was.

I liked the music in the second half; all Bowie, Eno, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, The Bruce Gilbert and Wire music in the first half left me a bit cold.

The dancing is of course incredibly skillful, it just doesn’t do anything for me.

I could see why Anthea and Mitchell, as fashion show photographers, would relate to the piece; it felt (to me) like watching one long fashion show parade.

We ran into my former colleague Angela Greenfield at the Barbican, sitting directly behind us – how weird is that? We’d sometimes bump into her at the theatre and it seems that she, like me and Janie, was there with friends who had dragged her to something she wouldn’t normally see. I think she enjoyed it as we did.

This search term – click here – should find you all you want to know about the piece.

Here’s a snippet of what it looked like:

We went on to the Hix Oyster and Chop House in Farringdon for a late but much needed meal, which was very good and gave us all a chance to chat and catch up properly.

Here is Jay Rayner’s review of the restaurant – we found both the food and the service very good when we went.

Le Cirque Invisible, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 22 August 2009

We went to see Le Cirque Invisible with Anthea and Mitchell.

Here is the Official London Theatre blurb about the show.

I recall a beautiful summer evening, enjoying drinks on the SBC terrace etc. I recall that the others liked the show more than I did. Of course it is clever and skillful, but I fins acrobatic/gymnastic performance only does so much for me.

Lyn Gardner in The Guardian didn’t like it.

Here’s a good snippet which gives you a reasonable idea:

I can’t for the life of me recall what we did afterwards. Janie and I both thought, at first, perhaps we went to Hix, but I’m now pretty sure that was another time, after we four went to a dance thing at the Barbican. Perhaps we decided not to eat afterwards on this occasion or just ate light on the South Bank.

New Year’s Eve 2008/2009 Party, Ealing, 1 January 2009

We arranged for a gathering of friends and the three sisters to see in 2009. With Phillie’s health now unquestionably in decline, it was a fine balance between ambition and pragmatism. But the big points were that Phillie wanted to dance and she wanted that close set of friends and family with her.


So we planned to take  a big table at a public gathering in that hotel in Ealing currently (2016) known as the DoubleTree Hilton – I can’t remember what it was called at that time – Janie thinks it might have been a Ramada back then. You know the one; on the junction of the Uxbridge Road and Hanger Lane. Not normally our sort of thing, but the ability for the out-of-towners to simply retreat to their room without the need for transport/going out of doors was a big plus.

There is a sizable photo set from the evening.  The set does not come from one of my or Janie’s cameras – I think it must have been Anthea or Kim who brought the camera. Several people chipped in taking the pictures, mostly those two I think, with some drunken-looking efforts from other people thrown in. I don’t recall taking many/any of them myself.

These five must have been a terrifying quintet at school

These five must have been a terrifying quintet at school

Considering the quality of photographers present (not least Anthea Simms and Mitchell Sams) the overall quality of the photo set is less than special…


…with a handful of notable exceptions….


This proves that the photo pros were mostly busy enjoying themselves rather than taking snaps, which is a good thing.

It was a remarkable evening, not least because Phillie had been so poorly in the run-up to the evening, we thought even the day before that she might need to be in hospital over the new year festivities. In the end, Phillie had a great time and danced almost all evening.  We did not get any pictures of the dancing, although dancing we all, not just Phillie, certainly did.

Indeed, we all had a great time. Even me, despite evidence to the contrary in the following picture!


Iberico Ham Party, Easter, 23 March 2008


We returned from our trip to Barcelona, Northern Spain and Rioja a few days before Easter, having pre-arranged a small gathering for Easter Sunday. It seemed only polite to bring some amazing Iberico ham back with us, together with our new-found Rioja expertise.

Add to that some of those Lindt Easter Bunnies, without which it simply wouldn’t be Easter…and good friends of course…the result was a good fun gathering.

Not all that many pictures, but the pictures are on Flickr here. I think I took most of these – looks as though it was my camera this time anyhow.